While it may have been 28 years since The Wiggles‘ Anthony (Field) first got kids excited to sing and dance along with simple, bouncing, bounding songs about fruit salads, hot potatoes, bears in need of bedtime, and soaring propellers, he still has at least as much energy as The Orpheum requires to fill it, in spite of technical difficulties with the audio that delayed the proper start of the show.
With all The Wiggles (Anthony, Simon, Lachy, Emma) on stage but no mics to help them reach the rafters, they opted to return to their Australian roots and go for a walkabout in the audience, with Emma and Simon exploring the aisles and meeting the many, adorably costumed and highly enthusiastic fans and their parents, receiving homemade gifts of bows, flowers, and pictures of the group. Anthony even recognized the imbalance with the Circle not receiving a visit and promised to send up ambassadors to meet and greet the teeming toddlers.
But it was the uncorked bubbliness of the whole group that kept the whole auditorium singing and clapping along with the diminished instruments until, with a sudden burst of Australian delight, the sound system came to life and the show could get into high gear (or at least as high gear as a children’s show can get).
With their bright colors, delightful lyrics, and arm-flailing dancing on stage, the children in the audience (and some of the parents) were easily coaxed into joining in, first in the rows and then moving to the aisles for more freeform interpretations of the official choreography. For the entire hour of the full-volume show, kids were bopping and jumping and clapping and looking occasionally dumbfounded all over the theater, with a sea of semi-reluctant to entirely engrossed parents joining in from their seats. There were no lulls in the brilliance of the cast and their supporting dancers and musicians, all of whom were clearly, genuinely loving being on stage and inspiring all the chaotic dancing, and at the end of the show, The Wiggles expressed their gratitude as well as their apologies for the technical troubles.
It could quite truthfully be said that being a children’s entertainer requires far more energy than any other art form, and that it would drain a performer after a while, but The Wiggles clearly have not just the fantastic skills (ballet dancing, singing, so many instruments – including bagpipes!) but also the boundless appetite and enthusiasm for what they do, and it makes being there with them, live on stage, so much more wonderful than just seeing their (equally bright and energetic) TV show.
To reach out to the parents, very short riffs from The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” (on the bass) and Led Zeppelins “Stairway to Heaven” (on the guitar, of course) popped up while the cast and crew were individually introduced to show off their skills toward the end of the show, with the knowing smirks on the faces of all solidifying the sense of camaraderie between those on stage and those sitting with the target audience. Moments like this, peppered through the performances, kept the adults in the room more alert for the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot-outs, which elicited laughs, chuckles, and smatters of applause, and certainly helped keep the energy from waning.
True to their promise, a second and third walkabout happened, this time up to the Circle, to sing songs from the heights and collect the many gifts for the cast. All the crafty creations were brought up on stage, with a fourth walkabout to ensure as many of the hand-made offerings as possible were collected. The cast presented or read out many of them for the audience to enjoy, and it became clear that Emma was the favorite (so many yellow bows in the auditorium and in the artwork) with one clever pun written on a giant paper bow with antlers earning a burst of applause and laughter – it was entitled “A Canadian Carribow for Emma”. The interlude of audience interaction led into the final few songs and dances, with the show closing the way it had opened, with huge applause and a lot of excitement.
The talent on show in The Wiggles “It’s Party Time” is worthy of great admiration, the dedication to their art is inspiring, and their humble, happy attitude, even in the face of a really inconveniently timed technical glitch, is nothing short of exemplary. If the Wiggles can command a theater full of hyped-up kids with bright colors, smiling faces, silly dancing, and no PA, they’re definitely something worth seeing again!
Located in a lush forest setting, Vallea Lumina takes place just 10 minutes from Whistler Village at Cougar Mountain. Guests reach the night walk via complimentary shuttle and are immediately immersed into charming storytelling in a breathtaking environment. Throughout the approximately 60 minute adventure, visitors follow in the footsteps of two long-ago hikers, Leonard and Gloria, who are seeking a mystical hidden valley where stardust falls from the sky; as guests move through the experience, opportunities abound to touch, play and engage with the ever-changing environment. The new winter trail will offer smooth, easy to walk surfaces with minimal elevation gain or loss; and additional lighting effects will serve to heighten and enhance the excursion. As with Vallea Lumina‘s summer experience, guests can enjoy cozy non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks at base camp prior to entering the show. Be prepared to enjoy a magical, mesmerizing experience from the creators Moment Factory and powered by The Adventure Group.
Vacations with the kids can produce some of a family’s most treasured memories, but have you ever considered letting your pint-sized travelers help plan the trip? Involving your children at the start of the planning process can help your family create a better experience; one that everyone can enjoy and no one will ever forget. That’s what Kidcations is all about; letting Canada’s youngest vacationers road test Sunwing’s most popular family resorts. From savouring the ice cream selection to whizzing down water slides, a Kidcationer’s ‘job’ is never dull!
This summer, Sunwing and YTV are once again searching nationwide to find the next Sunwing Kidcation Tester. Open to travel-savvy youth under the age of 14, the contest runs from now until July 16 and puts kids’ reviewing skills to the test as they pose as video journalists telling everyone why they deserve to be the next Sunwing Kidcationer.
“We know kids play a crucial role in the decision-making process for a family vacation,” says Jacqueline Grossman, Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications, for Sunwing Travel Group. “Our Kidcationers show parents why their opinion is key, sharing firsthand travel experiences of what’s important to kids when planning a family vacation. Sunwing believes that to find the best Kidcation resorts you need to call in the experts, but before bedtime of course.”
Last year, 9-year old Tamer Al-Asadi from Ottawa was the lucky winner and took off to the Royalton Bavaro Resort and Spa in Punta Cana with his family for a week of sun and fun. “It was a blast and I got to try out surfing on the FlowRider® surf simulator, check out the lazy river, explore the kids club and much more,” says Tamer when asked about his stay. “I love traveling, I wanted to stay for longer.”
This year’s winner will get to vacation like a Star™ at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica, whose interactive Star kids club lets kids make their own movies, become scientists or artists for the day and much more. For even more tropical fun, kids splash pad, extensive pool complex, and complimentary water sports at the beach will make sure everyone is having the vacation of a lifetime. They will also get the chance to spend some time on location with YTV BIG FUN MOVIES host, Duhin Nanda.
Sunwing Kidcation Contest entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, 2019. The winner will be announced live on YTV’s BIG FUN MOVIES between 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. If your kid loves traveling, adventure and smiling for the camera, then this contest is for them. From trying out family-friendly excursions and giving Facebook followers hotel room tours, to experiencing the latest water sports and getting wet at the splash park a Kidcation Tester’s job is never done but always fun.
For more information on how to enter or to check out past Kidcation Testers travel photos and videos, visit promos.ytv.com/sunwing
Whether you live in a large urban centre like Vancouver or in a rural community like Agassiz, there is always something to do. Here are some suggestions to help you explore, experience and get out there. Not everything is free, but some are close. Choose something that suits your lifestyle and your budget.
Outdoor activities are a hit in the summer time—there is always something to do in beautiful British Columbia. Rock climbing is a great past time that you can do anytime and almost anywhere. While Squamish and Whistler may be the climbing meccas of the west coast, there are many out-of the way places that offer you a chance to give bouldering a try. Beginners can try indoor climbing.
With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, it’s hard to believe that 2018 flew by so quickly!
But when you really think about it–the hustle and bustle of our daily lives—work, school, activities, extracurriculars, getting dinner on the table, and (occasionally) having a little time for self-care, it’s not actually all that surprising that time seems to fly by.
It’s important to stop and take stock sometimes. To disconnect from the madness and spend a little time in mindfulness and self-reflection. This is especially true as we sit on the cusp of a new year. What are your hopes and dreams for 2019 for you and your family? For the past 27 years, The Wellness Show has been the Lower Mainland’s number one lifestyle
showcase. We carefully research the latest health and wellness trends and then pass them on to you.
This year’s Wellness Show takes place February 2 and 3, 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. It’ll be a fun, action-packed weekend for you and your family.
Here are some highlights:
“Mom, I don’t like this.” Ugh. We’ve all heard it. You make a meal, and inevitably at least someone at the table rejects it. Check out The Wellness Show to learn not only about the latest and greatest healthy snacks for your family, but also to attend cooking demos by local celebrity chefs, and learn some new healthy recipes.
Va-va-va-voom! This year, we have Dr. Lori Brotto, Director, UBC Sexual Health Laboratory. She has just published a book called Better Sex through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire, and will be speaking on this topic at the show. Because we can all use a better sex life, right?
Ping-Pong! Did you know that Table Tennis is an Olympic sport? It’s a great workout, great for hand-eye coordination, and it’s a ton of fun. Your kids (or you!) will benefit from a coaching by our Table Tennis pros, or just have fun smashing some balls at the show.
Calgon Take Me Away! There’s nothing quite like a nice cup of tea to help to de-stress and relax you. We’ll have Brian White, National Sales Manager for Traditional Medicinals at The Wellness Show talking about the health benefits of tea. You’ll also have the opportunity to sample teas for stress/relaxation, digestion, laxatives, or cold and flu relief.
Make a little me time. Ditch the kids and sneak away for a solo afternoon at The Wellness Show. Attend some seminars, sample some great food, book a massage or reflexology, learn about aromatherapy, try some juices, and get organic skin care and makeup tips—all under one roof!
Get empowered! Attend our Power Panel with Dr. Joti Samra, a national thought leader on issues relating to mental health, Lorna Vanderhaeghe, Canada’s leading women’s natural health expert, and Mary Zilba, an award-winning singer, television personality, producer and podcast host, as they share insights and anecdotes about their careers, family and personal lives and answer thought-provoking questions from our moderator Johanna Ward.
We look forward to seeing you there (with or without your fam)!
The Wellness Show opens its doors from 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday, February 2, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday, February 3, 2019. The show takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre West (New Convention Centre), 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver in downtown Vancouver. Tickets are $14.50 General Admission, $12.50 Seniors 65+ / Students with valid ID, $6.00 Children (5 and under free), and $20.00 2 – day, all access pass. Tickets are available online at thewellnessshow.com, or at the door.
This month, from October 15-21, the Vancouver Writers Fest will welcome more than 30 children’s and
young adult authors – including beloved writers Kenneth Oppel and Susin Nielsen – to host a range of
fun, inspiring and educational family events. Each is specifically designed for children from K-12. This
year, the Festival is offering free programming throughout Saturday, October 20, too.
Located on Granville Island, a trip to the Festival is a perfect day out for young children, who can spend a
morning with their favourite authors before enjoying an afternoon playing at the Kid’s Market or by the
duck pond. Teenagers can look forward to hearing about world-building with bestselling YA author
Ashley Little or the future of graphic novels with Simpsons Comics lead writer Ian Boothby.
Here are just five of the many Writers Fest events for young readers of all ages:
Digital Literacy sets the stage to dive deep into the power of public speaking and take on the proliferation of fake news; a close encounter with an 80 ft. virtual whale astounds the senses, and R2R’s Youth and Adult Juries choose the award winners to be presented on Closing Night. These are some of the highlights of the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth, April 8–14.
During R2R’s Power of Speech presentation, media educator Tash King will examine how digital technologies have reshaped concepts of credibility, authority, and truth. Students will discuss the rise of media designed to influence public opinion, including sponsored content, propaganda, and disinformation in both mainstream forums and social media. This presentation is part of a day-long Youth Media Conference designed to engage high school students on relevant issues that matter to them, and take a Behind the Scenes look at their career options in the film and tech industry.
theBlu: Whale Experience is the first of a three-part series of immersive room-scale VR that invites audiences to witness the wonder and majesty of the ocean, and come face to face with some of the most awe-inspiring species on the planet. It features an incredible close encounter with an 80 ft. blue whale! theBlu is already recognized as one the most iconic VR experiences to date (it was a Sundance Film Festival 2016 selection). Before submerging themselves into theBlu, audiences will have traveled around the world at the Opening Gala Presentation with BBC’s Earth: One Amazing Day, narrated by Robert Redford. After the film, learn how to make a hologram with your smartphone. Or step into R2R’s first ever VR-Domain to see more world class VR, including the recently added: MasterpieceVR, an interactive virtual painting, modeling, and sculpting experience that expands the boundaries new technology.
Two youth juries, the Senior Jury for ages 13-18, and the Junior Jury for ages 9-12, will choose the awards for: Best Feature Film, Most Innovative Short Film, and Most Inspirational Short Film. R2R’s Youth Jury Program fosters a deeper appreciation for independent film from Canada and around the globe and begins months before the festival with a free workshop in film criticism. A challenging and interactive experience, the program engages participants to sharpen their critical eye, gain an appreciation for different genres, and learn what makes a film great. Kids and Adults often see things differently, which is why R2R also invites an Adult Jury perspective. Members include: Anne-Mary Mullen (VLAFF, Senior Programmer), Shana Myara (OutTV, Movie Programmer), and Norman Armour (PuSh, Artistic and Executive Director). The Adult Jury will award their pick for Best Film, as well as the Edith Lando Peace Prize, a $500 award to the film that “best utilizes the power of cinema to further the goals of peace and justice”.
The new shorts program Fresh Frames supports early development of social and critical thinking skills for children in grades 1-4. The inaugural selection of Fresh Frames films is entitledCommunicating and Relating, and features the World Premiere of the local short, Dan, by Chloe Xi. R2R’s annual Made in Canada program includes the Canadian Premiere of the shadow-animated gem, Clean Your Room by Vancouver’s Sophie Jarvis and Alicia Eisen. Alli MacKay’slocal short about the overwhelming impact of gender discrimination in school, Flash Flood, will be screening in the No Bully, No Problem program. Alli won the Best Director Award at R2R’s Youth Filmmakers Showcase in 2015. Vancouver-based stop motion animator Amanda Strong’s, Flood, will be screened in the annual Indigenous Spotlight program.
Gone are the days when a child has to wait until age 4 or 5 to learn to ride a 2-wheeled bike. Now, toddlers as young as 18 months can get started on a balance bike, having fun striding along until one day, like magic, they are riding! No need for tricycles or training wheels. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a 3-year-old to be able to transition from a balance bike directly to a regular 2-wheeled bike!
Toddlers begin by straddling the bike while walking along. Before they know it, they are sitting down on the seat (designed for tiny bums, of course) and using their feet to stride merrily along. Over time, little people are zooming along and balancing without even touching the ground. There’s no trying to balance…it just happens!
So, how does a balance bike differ from a regular bike?
The premise is that a smaller, lightweight, pedal-free two-wheeler is easier for little people to handle. Indeed, they typically weigh only 6 lbs and even the handgrips are made smaller for wee fingers. Seat height and handlebar height are easily adjusted to accommodate your growing child. In addition, balance bikes are virtually maintenance-free. Say goodbye to flat tires and greasy chains! The tires are tubeless and the bike is chainless.
No pedals? Where do the feet go?
Toddlers start out with their feet on the ground and as they gain confidence, they just naturally being to lift their feet as they move forward. This is actually a good thing. Their feet are closer to the ground when they need them for braking.
Where are the brakes?
Toddlers use their feet to propel themselves forward and to stop. While this may make some parents nervous, remember that their feet are usually hovering just above the ground, and they are not traveling very quickly, so stopping is not typically an issue. Having said that, a rear-brake kit can be applied to back wheel if desired.
Why not tricycles?
Tricycles can be hard to pedal and can tip over easily on uneven ground. Children typically tire before they can go very far on a tricycle, leaving the parents to push them or carry the bike on family walks. In addition, they don’t teach the child to balance. Balance bikes require less effort to operate and toddlers can go much further on their own.
Why not just use training wheels?
Training wheels don’t actually help a child learn to balance. In fact, they prevent the process of learning to balance. With balance bikes, children just naturally learn to balance. On top of this, training wheels usually end up causing the bike to lean to one side or the other, creating a false sense of security. At some point, the children still have to learn how to balance on their own.
Strider has created the perfect little balance bike to excite and entertain your toddler. They are adjustable and designed to grow with your children ages 18 months to 5 years! They come in a wide variety of bright colors and are available locally through BC Balance Bikes.
BC Balance Bikes will be attending the Birth Fair at the Cloverdale Agriplex on March 3 & 4, 2018. We will have an obstacle course set up for toddlers to test out the bikes! Please visit www.birthfair.com for more information.
PS: Don’t forget your helmet!